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Answers in the Darkness: A Prayer by Suzanne Nicholson

Lord, all my life I have taken refuge in you.
When I was young, faith was simple.
I prayed, and you answered.

But then I experienced prayer
where your answers were so different.

And the world became more nuanced.
I came to understand that you answer all prayers
just not in the way I had wished.

So how do I pray for healing
when I know you can heal all
but only choose to heal some?
Or, perhaps: only choose to heal some in the ways that I wish.
Sometimes healing comes in another form.

You, my God, are a God of oblique angles.
You lead us in a direction
and we have expectations that way.
But direction is not destination.
Sometimes you desire the journey
and not the destination.
Lessons learned
and then you take us on another path.

Where is the prayer of faith
when I do not know if today’s lesson
is the journey
or the destination.

And so you teach me:
Certainty has become my idol.
Expectations met.
That looks like faith to me:
I ask, knowing that you can.

But will you?

Now I see
that faith lies not in the “answered” prayer
but the knowledge that you are there.
In the darkness.
Waiting for me.
Your presence is the answer.

Oh, God of oblique angles,
help me not to worship at the altar of certainty.
May I bow low before your gentle touch
your caring embrace
your protective